In March, I accepted a new position within BEA, to work for BEA Argentina.
After more than six years in the U.S., my wife and I were thinking about moving back to Argentina. We were talking about doing so in 2008. Then, this opportunity within BEA came across. It was sooner than what we planned, but it was interesting for me professionally, and BEA was helping with all the relocation needs. So I accepted.
It all happened (is happening I'd say) pretty quickly. Me and my family arrived at Argentina a couple of weeks ago, and I started on this new role immediately.
April was a good exercise on getting things done, both in and out of work. Here's just a summary:
- I played the negotiating game before signing the final offer to move to BEA Argentina.
- We did a "virtual" garage-sale on craiglist (sold a grill, furniture, garden tools and more).
- A strong storm (Texas style) blew several shingles off our roof. We had to get it fixed quickly before putting the house in the market!. Some of those asphalt shingles landed on top of my car!, scratching it really bad. I had to take it to the body shop ASAP before selling it.
- I flew to Boulder, Colorado to get a one day training for "new managers"
- The water heater went nuts. Long story short, I managed to replace the thermostat and that fixed the problem.
- Worked a lot on reconditioning the house for selling (painting, cleaning, fixing...).
- Had to get a "certificate of residency" from the Argentine consulate in the US (to avoid paying fees when clearing customs). Sounds simple, but the Argentine consulate in Houston is the worst and most inefficient public office I've ever seen in the U.S. or Argentina.
- Sold our house (in less than 2 days!, I cannot imagine how we would have dealt with it otherwise). If you need a Realtor in Dallas/Plano, I strongly recommend Alan Bertucci (an ex-Fuego guy who got tired of working with computers).
- I worked at a customer site for two weeks, which is always more stressful than working in your office, specially when you are dealing with so much stuff out of work.
- Packed and shipped all our goods. Big help from the relocation company, but we had to spent two days watching over them, labeling boxes, separating things for air or sea shipment, writing a detailed inventory. Not to mention that they made two big holes in a wall (1 day before we had to turn the house over to the new owners!).
- Closed all accounts (phone, mobiles, electric, water, gas, toll tags, credit cards, banks, directv, tivo, ... ). This included fighting a few battles, like the one to prevent Cingular from charging us a hefty early-termination fee.
- Worked on finishing and handing over a couple of internal software projects I was working on.
- I flew to California (for a day) to meet my new boss.
- I gave a full day training for customer and internal BEA employees.
- We went on a shopping spree: books, electronics, apparel, and things we knew was cheaper or easier to get in the U.S.
- Tried to meet and say "bye" to all the good friends I made in the U.S.
- Sold our cars (CarMax doesn't pay very well, but it was convenient).
- Rented a car and lived in a hotel for a few days.
- We picked up our daughter from school and drove straight to the airport. We took our final flight back to Argentina. A 10-hour trip is never easy with 2 kids; Pilar (our 1-year-old) made it specially hard this time.
That's just the first half. Now in Argentina, we are re-building our lives.
We are looking for a home, mortgage, school for the kids, car, doctors, we are doing paperwork to make our kids permanent residents in Argentina, I'm adapting to my new job, and we are living as guests until we find a home and the shipment with all our goods arrives.
Luckily, here we get a lot of help from our bigger family. After all, they are pretty much the only reason why we decided to come back to our home country!
The dust should settle the next month or so, and we'll feel "at home" again.